Well, it’s time.
You’ve been clamoring for Election Day for months with notions of a blue wave or red tsunami, neither one likely. Though, it was not likely Donald Trump would be president. So there’s that. What is likely, if not certain, is one of these three scenarios. Past Dem weirdness and presidential bombast, there are three outcomes that will present opportunities and minefields for both parties.
Scenario #1 — Most Probable, Split Decision: It’s the smart money. History shows incumbent presidents lose about 30 in the House. The Dems need 23 to take control. I bet they get about 30-32. We’ll take seat hits in PA and CA. If those states go bad early in House races it could be an indication of a worse night to come for the Republicans. The Senate stays GOP with pickups in MT, IN, MO, and maybe FL and WV. Just too many Dem senators in Trump states to give them even a slight chance of a Senate majority.
A Dem House means the Inquisition is on. Trump’s junior high school grades will be scrutinized for Russian influence. Lunatics like Maxine Waters will get seriously enhanced stature and power. Impeachment will come up. Maybe even be voted out of committee. Don’t think it would make it past a full House vote. But there’s a fly in the ointment for the leftist Dems and a slight rainbow for the right. Blue Dog Dems like Conor Lamb of PA won’t be able to vote lockstep with the Dem leadership or they’ll lose their moderate creds and be one termers. So expect them to buck Nancy on some pivotal votes, perhaps even on the speakership for Nancy herself. They could play a vital swing role in many close votes. Now if this was the 1960s and sane Dems still had national clout I’d say maybe divided government isn’t such a bad thing. Having a monopoly breeds arrogance and hubris. Checks and balances are essential to a democracy and all that. I mean, it worked in the 90s, a decade that was pretty good to a lot of us, right? However, today’s Dems are far beyond a credible force for moderation. They are crazoids bent on socialism and emotion-driven mayhem, tribal goons who couldn’t put together a coherent thought if their franking privileges depended on it. You think Washington is a circus now? Ha! This has been a garden stroll compared to the Caligula-like orgy of stupidity and illogic awaiting us.
And you thought politics wasn’t fun.
The slight mitigation is that the aforementioned Blue Dogs aren’t the only subgroup to gain from the maelstrom. The GOP Freedom Caucus, run by excellent chaps like Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows, will gain leverage, as the GOP minority caucus will have to hold every vote in place to be effective. Yes, because of that there will be massive pressure for them to get with the program. But these guys are scrappers and not going to shy away from a fight even with their own House leadership. They’ve proven this in the past. Thus, they can hold the GOP caucus to conservativism when some will want to roll over and indulge in their natural Vichy inclinations.
Together, the Blue Dogs and the Freedom Caucus could make an interesting tactical alliance.
This also gives the president a target for the 2020 reelection campaign. Though it’s not like finding targets has ever been tough for Trump. Harry Truman-like, he runs against a “Do-Nothing Congress” and as people loathe Congress as an institution anyway, he gets some traction and possibly takes back the House. He uses this interim period to remind voters how the Dems are not qualified to run a bath, much less the U.S. House of Representatives.
Scenario #2 — Less Probable, GOP Holds House: Stop all this inane talk of a red tsunami. It’s embarrassing. And even if it’s not it could jinx it. Yes, many political ops types are highly superstitious. Though, some are just stitious. If this comes to pass we’ll still lose in the House, probably about fifteen seats. But just not enough to give the Dems control. We’re back to a Kobayashi Maru scenario, where Trump just changes the rules as he did in 2016. I’ve talked to Dem pals who are working campaigns and they are scared to death of this, remembering a similar hopeful scenario in 2016 that came a cropper. A couple of GOP analysts are predicting a GOP hold. However, they tend to be of the true believer variety and thus righty discounted by those above the age of puberty.
The fun part, of course, will be the Dem and media meltdown. How many of us have thrilled and felt all warm and fuzzy inside to the 2016 images of various hagathas and pajama boys sobbing and casting their screams to the heavens in sorrowful indignation at their deserved plight. You know, I could watch that all day. Come to think of it, I have. So if the winds blow even a tad bit favorable to this scenario I’ll get out the popcorn and switch to MSNBC. Just can’t beat them for pure entertainment on a good GOP election night.
Scenario #3 — Least Probable, Dems Take House and Senate: The only reason this is even on the list is that the even less likely deal of the GOP gaining House seats is not worth mentioning. But yes, if all the Bolshie stars align, if Lenin stirs in his coffin, if a raven is seen gnawing on the fevered brow of Mitch McConnell, then I guess there’s a shot at this. If so, the president will have been so roundly repudiated by the public and his own alleged base that Bernie Sanders can start picking out the drapes in the Oval Office. Like I said, really outlandish. But stranger things have happened.
So, make sure to go and vote for the Republican of your choice. After that lay in a supply of adult beverages (don’t forget penalty shots for wrong predictions) and food that can be thrown at a television screen. Wait until at least 10p.m. to break down in an emotional puddle or dance a jig of salvation.
Anytime before that for either would just be unseemly.